Leases  ·  Office

Clifford Chance Plans Move to 144K SF at 2 Manhattan West 


International law firm Clifford Chance is pulling up stakes and moving its New York office to 144,000 square feet at Brookfield Properties 2 Manhattan West.

But not yet. The 58-story building isn’t slated for completion until 2023 and the firm does not plan to begin occupying the 39th through 42nd floors, with up to 500 employees, until 2024, according to Brookfield. Clifford Chance’s New York offices are currently at 31 West 52nd Street.

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“We look forward to welcoming Clifford Chance to Manhattan West where they will join our growing roster of world-class tenants,” Duncan McCuaig, executive vice president of leasing for Brookfield Properties, said in a statement. “In an environment of fierce competition for talent, 2 Manhattan West is attracting industry-leading firms that see the building as a key asset in their ability to recruit and retain a top-tier workforce.”

The deal was first reported by Bloomberg.

2 Manhattan West will be the final addition to the eight-acre site in Lower Manhattan that has been under development by Brookfield for over eight years at a cost of $4.5 billion. The site’s first phases opened to the public in September 2021. The timing was good for Ben Brown, Brookfield’s managing partner and head of the U.S. office portfolio, who told Commercial Observer at the time that the Manhattan West neighborhood would come online with a return to normalcy from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Clifford Chance may be one of the biggest law firms in the world, with a headcount of 7,500 employees internationally, but it will not be the biggest law firm in 2 Manhattan West.

Corporate law firm Cravath Swaine & Moore committed to 481,000 square feet on the 25th through 37th floors within the 1.9 million-square-foot tower at Ninth Avenue and West 31st Street in October 2019, CO reported at the time. It will be downsizing from its current offices at Worldwide Plaza, where it occupies a 617,000-square-foot space.

CBRE’s Stuart Eisenkraft, Christopher Hogan, Lewis Miller, Ramneek Rikhy and Andrew Sussman brokered the deal for Clifford Chance, while Brookfield was represented by Cushman & Wakefield’s Howard Cross, Nicholas Dysenchuk, Josh Kuriloff, Matthias Li, Robert Lowe, Bruce Mosler, John Santora and Ethan Silverstein.

Asking rent and the length of the lease were not disclosed, and the brokerages did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Mark Hallum can be reached at